The rapid pace of change that underlies developments in global affairs gives academics focusing on modern international relations the difficult task of releasing timely, yet-un-rushed publications that contextualize a given crisis or event, without being so specific so as to become outdated upon release. The ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf presents one such scenario, in which quick media summaries of the Gulf’s fracture tend to elide the decades (some would say centuries) of history, dispute, economic change and conflict that more fully explain the ongoing crisis within the GCC. In this void, Divided Gulf: The Anatomy of a Crisis, edited by Dr. Andreas Krieg emerges as the first and most thorough work to-date by scholars to give the Gulf crisis the academic treatment it warrants. The book itself is well-aware of its objective’s immensity, and wastes no time beginning a sweep through the Gulf’s history, both the early 21st century changes that reshuffled the Gulf’s power dynamics, as well as the long-simmering trends that the book argues can be traced back to the 1800s. As a collection, the included chapters and authors then proceed to take a diverse array of approaches to the crisis, a reflection perhaps of the diverse (what the book refers to as multipolar) sources of conflict that have converged to make the present moment’s schism. Such approaches naturally include those concerned with geopolitics, but also those focusing on social structure or, those that take a theoretical approach, namely that of Freud’s ‘narcissism of minor difference.’ In what has become a narrative so diluted by the propaganda and falsities espoused by various states involved in the crisis, Divided Gulf represents a necessary addition for those looking to piece through the noise in order to gain a fuller understanding of the region’s complexities.
Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Giorgio Cafiero, and Dr. Andreas Kreig.
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Dr. Andreas Kreig
Assistant Professor, King’s College London
Andreas Krieg is an assistant professor for Defence Studies at King’s College London currently seconded to the UK Defence Academy. In his research Andreas has combined his regional expertise of the Middle East with the wider field of Security Studies. He has looked at violent non-state actors and unconventional means of warfare in the 21st century. As an expert for Middle East security more generally and Gulf security in particular, Andreas has employed his regional and subject-related expertise providing strategic and operational risk consultancy to a variety of commercial and governmental organizations operating in the MENA region. He most recently published a book with Palgrave titled ‘Socio-Political Order and Security in the Arab World’. He has a book forthcoming with Georgetown University Press titled ‘Surrogate Warfare – The Transformation of War in the 21st Century’ and an edited volume with Palgrave called ‘Divided Gulf – The Anatomy of a Crisis.’
Dr. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Baker Institute Fellow for the Middle East, Rice University
Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Ph.D., is a Baker Institute fellow for the Middle East. Working across the disciplines of political science, international relations and international political economy, his research examines the changing position of Persian Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, nonmilitary challenges to regional security. Previously, he worked as senior Gulf analyst at the Gulf Center for Strategic Studies between 2006 and 2008 and as co-director of the Kuwait Program on Development, Governance and Globalization in the Gulf States at the London School of Economics (LSE) from 2008 until 2013.
CEO; Gulf State Analytics
Giorgio Cafiero is the CEO of Gulf State Analytics. He is a frequent contributor to Middle East Institute, Atlantic Council, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Middle East Policy Council, Al Jazeera, New Arab, Qatar Peninsula, Al Monitor, TRT World, and LobeLog. Throughout Cafiero’s career, he has spoken at international conferences and participated in closed door meetings with high-ranking government officials, diplomats, scholars, businessmen, and journalists in GCC states, Iran, Turkey, and Egypt. From 2014-2015, he worked as analyst at Kroll. Cafiero holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego.